Enterprise, consumer appetite for VR exploding
VR headset device shipments for both the enterprise and consumer markets is expected to reach 99.4 million units worldwide in 2021, up dramatically from the 10.1 million units shipped in 2016, according to International Data Corporation.
Sales of VR headsets for both enterprise and consumers is expected to grow 58% by 2021, according to IDC. In the enterprise, AR and VR can do things like allow workers to see and interact with data, which IDC predicts will help businesses improve productivity.
"While there was clear demand coming primarily from technology enthusiasts, what became readily apparent were the use cases for enterprise users across multiple verticals and for consumers with gaming and content consumption," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Augmented and Virtual Reality team, in a statement. "This sets the stage for the multiple aspects of the market that device makers, platforms and content providers, and developers will be addressing in the months and years to come."
IDC predicts vertical markets like manufacturing and design, healthcare, transportation and retail have the most to gain from applications of VR.
As Enterprise Apps Today notes, AR and VR technology has found use cases in employee training, recruitment and onboarding. For example, a company could use VR to create a "day in the life" experience to entice potential hires and show off a more forward-looking digital experience.
IDC is not the only firm forecasting the rise of VR and AR. Last fall, analyst firm Gartner predicted so-called "immersive technology" will change the way those in the enterprise interact, both with one another and with software systems, creating a more seamless system for users.